You’ve seen the signs and heard the public service announcements. At this point, every driver should know that distracted driving is dangerous – even deadly.
So, why do people keep doing it? It may all come down to human nature.
People keep falling for the myth of multitasking
It used to be pretty standard for people to proudly claim that they’re great at “multitasking,” or handling more than one thing at a time. It turns out, however, that people who think that are really just good at fooling themselves.
When people think that they’re multitasking, they are really just rapidly switching their attention between one task and the next, and research shows that makes them do poorly at both. Unfortunately, people continue to believe that they really can eat their lunch, drink a cup of coffee, fix their hair, talk on the phone or sing along with the radio without losing focus on the road.
Cellphones are frighteningly addictive
It’s not a coincidence that distracted driving started to approach epidemic proportions just about the time that smartphones became popular. People can’t seem to keep their eyes – or hands – off them, even if state law restricts their use behind the wheel.
Increasingly, studies indicate that people are actually developing an addiction to their phones that’s somewhat akin to an anxiety disorder. Try as hard as they might, they can’t stop checking for texts while stuck in traffic, sending quick messages out when they’re at red lights and otherwise using their phones behind their wheel. It’s estimated that the average person in this country checks their smartphone 352 times each day – and cellular devices are the cause of more than 20% of car wrecks.
What can you do about the problem? You can make conscious choices not to be a distracted driver yourself (even if that means locking your phone in your trunk and turning off the radio during your commute). Unfortunately, there’s still no guarantee that you won’t end up the victim of someone else’s negligence. If you’re injured by a distracted driver, find out more about what it takes to get fair compensation for your losses by seeking legal guidance as soon as possible after sustaining harm.